Tag Archives: Healing

Art Therapy – Healing the Heart

We know that art therapy can help children with anger, stress and depression. Do you know that it can also help children with heart disease?

One such patient is an 18 year old girl profiled in the July 1 2009 issue of the Wall Street Journal. At age 9, she had her second heart transplant. Her body was determined to reject the first heart. She went into cardiac arrest six times in 2 hours. She recalled being “awake” when the doctors were frantically trying to revive her.

Fearing that they would pull the plug on her, she tried desperately to tell the people in the hospital room that she was alive.Recuperating at home was no easy matter; she kept having recurring nightmares in which she watched herself suffering cardiac arrest.

Things, however, began to change when she took up the pen. She began writing down her thoughts about being helpless and scared. She turned these details into poems and stories. Eventually, the nightmares disappeared.

Now 18, she has successfully completed high school and is looking forward to nursing school in the fall.She credits her writing for helping her deal with her heart and surgery. It was her creative expression through writing that enabled her to transform something frightening and painful into a positive goal – to make something of her life.

Researchers are taking note of the positive relationship between art therapy and the heart. Some current clinical data on this relationship include the following:

a) Psychosocial factors like depression and stress have been found to be strong risk factors for heart attacks. In fact, these emotional factors are considered as strong as physiological factors like high blood pressure and diabetes.

According to researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, depression increases the risk of heart disease more than genetics or the environment. This means that any intervention that can reduce depression can benefit the heart. Scientists are working to determine how artistic expression can be considered a valid form of clinical intervention to be used along with exercise, diets and medication for reducing heart disease.

b) Researchers at Temple University in Philadelphia have found that music can offer substantial benefit to patients who are stressed and anxious about undergoing treatment for coronary heart disease. Listening to music decreases blood pressure, heart rate and levels of anxiety in heart patients. In fact, music therapy is getting increased recognition as a viable form of treatment for depression and mood.

Take for example, Justin P, a young boy born with a heart defect. At 8 months, he had heart surgery. Since he was five years old, he has been experiencing attention and behavior problems at school. Unable to “settle down” in the classroom, Justin nevertheless responds well to music, especially songs with a strong upbeat tempo.

His parents decided to place him in a music therapy class when he turned six. Now 7, Justin can play the piano; he is more focused in school; he is just starting to read and he is a happier child.
According to his parents, music relaxes him and makes him more open to their suggestions.

Creative expressions in art, writing and music can be very effective therapeutic processes for children with heart disease.

Bianca Tora is a writer interested in the relationship between lifestyle and the brain, specifically the area of emotional regulation and control. She has published a book on anger management for children. Visit her at http://www.help-your-child-with-anger.com

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Drug Rehab and Alcohol Rehab Using Music for Enhanced Healing

(PRWEB) December 1, 2004

Music has always been a very important part of our lives, from childhood to our being an adult. As a part of our experience, music can have both a physiological and psychological affect upon us as human beings. In addition to the influence that it has on our life, music also has many therapeutic qualities and has been utilized in promoting a variety of healings throughout the ages. As we know further, music can be a very powerful medium for altering our state, of changing how we actually feel. More specifically music can be very effective in producing a very deep and healing state of relaxation and in the process, reduce stress and even promote sleep. Music can also be used to assist one in improving his or her self-esteem and furthering an individual’s personal growth and development, even his or her transformation and recovery.

As a therapist working with individuals in recovery at the drug rehab center Holistic Addiction Treatment Program, I always use therapeutic relaxation music in my clinical and counseling work. I have repeatedly found that when I use therapeutic relaxation music during both an individual and group counseling session that my clients do more productive work, are able to focus more effectively on themselves and the issues that they are becoming present to because they are more relaxed, focused and centered and as a result, better able to concentrate. Being relaxed during the counseling process always tends to generate more productive results for the individual being counseled. Therapeutic relaxation music can be a very effective and powerful aid for assisting a client to reach resolution with respect to that which he or she is working on with their mental health or addiction counselor.

Christian Drug Rehab- The Spiritual Way of Healing Addiction

What makes it stand out from other rehab centers out there? The huge difference is that unlike other treatment centers that merely focus on the psychological and emotional and physical aspects of the addiction, it goes into the root of the problem and seeks to create a difference in the life of the addicted person by aiming to heal that person spiritually. The treatment doesn’t focus on the medical aspects but more on the spiritual nature of the problem.

 

Christian Drug Rehab and Spirituality

 

One of the most controversial issues of this kind of treatment option is that it is not very clinical in nature. While there may be some truth to this claim, what the people behind this rehab emphasize is that drug or alcohol addiction usually stems from dissatisfaction in life and the inability to cope with problems. Through a spiritual rehab, it would be easier to counsel the addicted person and to make him or her see the error of the paths that he or she has previously taken.

 

This form of treatment would prove to be very effective for those individuals whose reasons for getting addicted to drugs or alcohol is indeed due to dissatisfaction and the inability to handle problems in life. The Christian drug rehab targets an addicted person’s spirituality especially his or her faith. Once his or her spirituality is healed, the addiction recovery would become more attainable. The treatment usually involves participating in prayer meetings, soul searching, and being around individuals who show faith in God.

 

Some addicted persons opt to use Christian drug rehab with other types of treatment to ensure that their addiction is being addressed holistically. For other people, they zero in on physical and psychological aspects before going into the spiritual level. There are different ways to go about this; it all depends on the case of the person who is addicted to drugs or alcohol. At the end of the day, what matters most is how that person has responded to the chosen intervention program and whether that program is a sustainable one.

 

Drug or alcohol addiction is manageable. Each person has the ability to fight any form of addiction, just as long as that person has set the goals and is determined to reach for the accomplishment of these goals. It is not impossible to fight addiction, be it on drugs or alcohol. What is important is the drive to live a drug-free and alcohol-free community.

 

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Healing Our Body Through Relaxation Music

“One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.”

– Bob Marley

Ancient Greeks were of the belief that music had the power to heal the body as well as the soul. The power of meditation was also discovered millennia ago when the early man stared into the flames of fire and entered into a peaceful state of mind. Meditative or relaxation music is a combination of two such powers as mighty enough to deliver individuals from their mental as well as physical problems. Although discoveries were made ages ago, it was only in the 1940s that medical experts and scientists started to research the influence of music on the human body and its assistance to overcome various ailments.

Music has been used as a therapy tool by doctors for several years. Relaxation music allegedly distracts patients from their pain and helps them calm down in troubled times. However, scientific evidence from the Research Center at the Utah University has confirmed that music can help divert patients’ minds to lessen their pain. A musician and university professor, David H. Bradshaw, noted an affirmative connection between relieving pain from headaches and practicing music through personal experiences.

Study Proving the Influence of Music on Pain

Intrigued by his curiosity, he joined forces with four other university doctors – from the University of Utah’s anesthesiology department and used more than 150 healthy volunteers to confirm his theory. The subjects were divided into two groups and each group received shocks or painful stimulations of varying intensities from electrodes on the tip of their fingers. One group went through the mild pain in an environment where music was being played in the background while the second group was delegated with several musical assignments of differing difficulties. The tasks involved recognizing the changing directions of a melody or the identification of deviant tones. The harmonies used for the research were the compositions of Miguel Chuaqui – the head of the university’s School of Music’s composition program.

When the subjects received shocks, researchers found that there were quantifiable electrical potentials within the subjects’ skin conductance, pupil dilation, and nervous systems. Using this data, the researchers measured their subjects’ peripheral and central arousal, or the level of pain they experienced. Based on the study, Bradshaw’s team uncovered that the alterations in stimulus arousal or net engagement related to the performance of musical tasks decreased when the difficulty of tasks increased. The research team proved, through the test, that the subjects’ overall pain decreased when they focused on the music and the task at hand.

The Magic of Relaxation Music

The sensory channels in our bodies are activated by music. They provoke emotional responses and captivate mental attention to fight against the pain channels. The synergy of music and pain therefore reduces our bodies’ response and increases tolerance. However, the magnitude of pain reduction differs among individuals owing to personality traits such as their ability to focus on a particular activity and their anxiety levels.

Relaxation Music Therapy to Help People with AIDS and Cancer Patients

Music’s influence on pain has extended its use into several fields in terms of health and well-being. Music therapy is becoming increasingly popular and emerging as a whole new field in itself. The AMTA (American Music Therapy Association) reports that music is useful in addressing social, physical, emotional, and cognitive needs. Treatment does not only involve listening to music, but also singing, creating, and moving to music. Alleviation of pain, management of stress, improvement of communication, and enhancement of memory can be successfully completed by using music therapy.

Many recent studies have been conducted in different parts of the world to test the influence of music on people with personal issues and illnesses. The Drexel University’s researchers, for instance, discovered that music can improve the BP levels in cancer patients and also elevate the moods of people suffering from AIDS or Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers at Sweden’s University of Gothenburg revealed that relaxation music not only helped subjects relax when listening to it, but also proved that they experienced a flurry of positive emotions at a higher frequency and with higher intensity. In addition, the same subjects showed signs of lower stress and their cortisol levels (stress hormone in humans) also reduced significantly.

The Findings and Revelations of the American Cancer Society

The ACS (American Cancer Society) denoted that relaxation music can help in reducing heart rate, breathing rates, and blood pressure. It can also lower the symptoms of insomnia, anxiety, and depression to a great extent. Patients who receive chemotherapy and anti-nausea drugs in high doses can ease vomiting and nausea by using music therapy. Relaxation music also helps relieve the short-term pain experienced by cancer patients.

The ACS indicated that hospice patients such as those suffering from cancer or AIDS improved their quality of life through the power of relaxation music. Music therapy has helped in improving their relaxation and comfort levels while also aiding in pain control. In some patients, relaxation music has dilated veins and relaxed muscles, which has significantly helped decrease the discomfort experienced during invasive procedures.

Impact of Meditative Music on People Suffering with Alzheimer’s disease

People suffering from Alzheimer’s disease can make the most of relaxation music to achieve assistance in daily life. Even during the latter stages of Alzheimer’s disease, a patient’s ability to engross in musical activities and interact with rhythmic cues remains intact. The cognitive functioning necessary for the processing of these cues is impaired during the late stages, so unfamiliar relaxation music can help in relaxing patients by inducing sleep and managing stress. Sedative or meditative music with no syncopation or percussion and slower tempos has the potential to help people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease change the routines which cause agitation and go to bed with relative ease.

Relaxation music has the ability to put listeners into a calm state of mind. Whether it involves stimulating a patient affected by dementia, retrieving memories, relieving pain, or soothing an individual who has had a long day, week, a month, or a year, relaxation music possesses the kind of healing power that arguably goes beyond scientific reasoning.

“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the minds, flight to the imagination and life to everything.” – Plato

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